Bahay X The Salt Project Seven-Course Tasting Menu at the Dingle Food Festival
Whole-health and wellbeing event organiser Quest and Thrive has teamed up two award-winning chefs to bring a unique dining experience to this year’s Dingle Food Festival. Nomadic chef Caomhán de Brí of The Salt Project, in collaboration with chef Richie Castillo of Bahay, will create a feast for all the senses which will be hosted by Quest and Thrive in the stunning Nano Nagle Room of An Díseart in the heart of Dingle town.
Both chefs are dedicated to the use of hyper-local, sustainable and season in their menus, and the dishes in the seven-course tasting menu will be no different. Kerry producers and produce that will be included on the night include Bácús Bakery, fish from Ventry, Dingle Goats’ Cheese, Barna Way vegetables, Acumen Farm, Dingle Farm Cream, West Kerry tomatoes, Ring of Kerry Apple Leaf, Lorge Blossom Chocolates, and John Harty’s Fudge.
Caomhán sources ingredients from the best of the small food producers in whatever part of the country a Salt Project dining experience is on to offer a hyper-local and truly sustainable menu. Richie will bring Bahay’s renowned use of Filipino and Asian flavours to create a brand new twist on uniquely Kerry ingredients.
The chefs describe the seven-course tasting menu dining experience as the perfect opportunity to work with amazing ingredients found only in Kerry. The menu for this one off-event will be the perfect opportunity to really champion everything they love and adore about Dingle, Kerry, its coast and countryside alike.
The venue for this unique occasion is the stunning Nano Nagle Room in An Díseart, on Green Street in the heart of Dingle town. Formerly the community room in Presentation Convent Dingle, the Nano Nagle Room commemorates and celebrates the life of the Order’s founder, Nano Nagle, through stunning murals that cover the walls from floor to ceiling.
On arrival at 7pm, there will be a drinks reception. You will be called to sit for your meal at 7.30pm when the first of seven courses will be served in the stunning Nano Nagle Room where large windows allow the light of the early autumn evening to filter into the lovely space. Wine can be ordered in advance of the event once your booking is made. Tables will be shared among groups and the team at Quest and Thrive hope that this unique dining experience will be one where old friendships are celebrated and new ones are made.
The Salt Project
With The Salt Project, nomadic chef Caomhán de Brí travels from coast to coast in Ireland. He turns up in beautiful, scenic and unusual locations all over the country, offering hyper-local, seasonal food that celebrates the richness and diversity of Ireland’s food produce.
Caomhán spent five years working as a head development chef for ISS Ireland, specialising in high-end corporate catering and private dining. Prior to that, he worked in professional kitchens for over a decade, including a year in London in Gordon Ramsay Michelin-starred restaurant, Maze. He is a graduate of TU Dublin & Botanical Cuisine course – the first farm to plate culinary degree programme of its kind in Europe.
Having grown up with a huge appreciation and respect for food, passed down to him by his parents, Caomhán’s menus have always had a strong focus on food provenance. His long-term goal is for The Salt Project to be as self-sufficient as possible. To this end, he utilises two-acre plots in Co Sligo and Co Roscommon to grow his own vegetables. A keen forager, Caomhán heads out into the wilds of wherever he is to collect his wild herbs, nuts and hedgerow berries for his cooking.
The Salt Project is as much about the small producers scattered throughout Ireland, naturally sourced ingredients and beautiful locations as it is about the cooking methods and techniques that he uses. “The dishes I serve are a celebration of the many great Irish chefs and producers that have guided, influenced and inspired me throughout my career to date. People like JP McMahon, Kwanghi Chan and Conor Spacey,” Caomhán he said. “Sourcing fantastic local produce and cooking with ingredients that have been harvested from the ground as late as the morning of service, means less interference and big bold flavours.”
The Salt Project won Best Dish at Taste of Dublin 2023, the Georgina Campbell Sustainability Award and three Local Food Hero Awards.
Bahay is a venture by chef Richie Castillo, along with his life and business partner Alex O’Neill. They focus on introducing people to punchy and exciting Filipino flavours, as well as highlighting the rich Irish-Filipino culture, through food, music and art. Richie’s menus focus on locally grown, seasonal Irish produce with Filipino flavours and cooking styles
He previously worked in Bastible, Clanbrassil House and Host restaurants and, in 2021, he and Alex set up Bahay, which has been producing hugely popular food not just around Dublin but also on the festival circuit, including at the Big Grill Festival, Beyond the Pale, Otherside Festival and Another Love Story. Bahay has had a residency at Roe & Co Distillery, a sell-out weekend at Hen’s Teeth, and Best Front of House at Taste of Dublin. They also popped up at Mae in Ballsbridge for a sell-out tasting menu experience.
Bahay won the Visitors Choice Award, Bord Bia Bloom Foodie Favourites Awards 2023.